The government lacks dominance in every province, he added. One result is that "no Iraqi government official, coalition soldier, diplomat, reporter, foreign NGO [nongovernmental organization], nor contractor can walk the streets of Baghdad, nor Mosul, nor Kirkuk, nor Basra, nor Tikrit, nor Najaf, nor Ramadi, without heavily armed protection."
McCaffrey is gloomy about the continuing strength of the insurgency. At this point, he said, about 27,000 fighters are being held, and at least 20,000 others have been killed, yet enemy combatants continue to produce new leaders and foot soldiers. The result, five years into the war, he said, is that "their sophistication, numbers and lethality go up -- not down -- as they incur these staggering battle losses."This is the opinion of someone with expertise, and with no vested interest. His views run directly contrary to the recent statements by the White House and Sen. McCain (who appears to have given up on his 'Straight Talk Express' method of campaigning) that the 'Surge' is yielding positive results.